Friday, February 20, 2015

Creating a Table of Contents

I am a note-taker and a list writer, and sometimes I use the same notebook for everything. As a kid, I used a different notebook for every subject. I struggle to keep up with three different notebooks in addition to my planner. I even tried to keep separate memos on my phone for everything. My brain likes to see me writing things down. I'm not really sure why!

How do you keep everything separated? Well, there is a cool trick that students learn in Japan. They make a table of contents on the last page of a notebook. It's a way to conserve paper and resources, since every notebook gets used 100%.

You write as you need to through out your journal. No, skipping around, looking for lost notes. Then mark the page for each topic used, and use the reference in the back of the notebook.

I've left some really boring pictures to give you a general idea.
This is what the pages of my notebook now look like.

This is what my last page of my journal looks like. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Showing the Process- Copper Pipe Pendants part 2

In part 1- I showed how to cut a copper pipe into smaller pieces to make copper pendants. It's not really a tutorial per se, more of some pictures of what I do. I skipped some really boring steps, like measuring and using a sharpie marker for the etching.

Once I have the circles cut, there are a few things that need to happen, cleaning, and etching. That's many pictures of filing and a couple pictures of my pickle pot, Wire-wrap a bail, it's hard to photograph, when both hands have pliers in them! More boring stuff! Then I squish a piece of polymer clay inside:
 My clay is dirty and swirly. I wasn't careful to keep it fresh, since it will be covered anyway. However, if your polymer is a bright color, say sky blue? Yeah, it might show through your art work! So, careful about that.... since it sort of shows on my horse pendant!

 I made a mold of my copper pipe and I used that as a template to cut out my postage stamp art.

Then you follow your resin instructions, and carefully pour. I use a medicine dropper for babies, since I have babies and seem to have a bundle of those- after each use they get thrown out, the resin residue is sticky and super hard to clean. So, I toss them out.

Even with practice- things can go wrong. Two of these pendants didn't harden, and the tape on my clear backless pendant, gave way and made a big mess. The big mess- well, out of luck there. But, the ones that didn't harden? I waited a week- a really long time, usually hardening occurs in 2 days, but I wanted to be super sure the pour went all wrong. It was wrong, so I poured again, and, Voila! hardened perfectly. 

These pendants take a lot of time. Making a batch, I cut 12 bezels, and ended up making 5 pendants, 1 pendant is irreparable, and the time investment is still around 9 hours. I'm hoping to get faster with each round, it still seems like quite a bit of time "hands on" then there is a bit of time- left in the etching acid, in the pickle pot and drying resin- those stages are "hands off" but I still set the oven timer, to be sure things don't get over done. 

I hope that you can see how this comes together and get inspired for your own next project.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Make your own Banner

Craft Show Preparations

Well, you could call it Craft Show preparations- or you could call it- the week of Panic!

My old show banner is damask paper sewn into a banner. And it is very cute- and also fragile!

So a new show sign was in order- Wow, what a lot of work, next time it might be worth it to purchase a fancy vinyl job. 

I painted a 15 inch by 60 inch canvas. I'm weird so I actually had that size on hand from a canvas sale over 5 years ago. I looked at some of my favorite artists for inspiration, and one day while both kids slept- I jumped in and only had 20 minutes to get work done. 

So over a weekend I worked on the colors and over washes. I took a cotton ball and dripped turpentine and burnt umber over the other oil paints. This made a cool effect.

Then I had to choose a font. So, I played around on I was pretty successful after a few hours and I settled on Sauerkraut.

My printer died- or rather stopped recognizing my ink cartridge, mean old thing. Had to rush out and buy a printer, and print off the letters- sized 800. Then used an Xacto knife to cut those babies out. 

I used a water color pencil to outline a few letters and I filled in the flatter outside pieces when I could. 

Then I filled those letters in with Sharpie. Of course I got mad, when in day light I could see the lines of the coloring. Argh! So I painted in with Payne's gray oil paint- thinned out a bit. This helped me get an all over coverage that really helped. Thinning it- that helped it dry in about a 24 hour period.
Last I used a cool powder additive that left a beautiful purple sheen highlight over the letters. In this picture, you will notice that effect especially on the J and O.